Is Star Wars a New Hope the First Star Wars Movie?

The Star Wars franchise has been around for over four decades now, with numerous movies, TV shows, books, and comics under its belt. However, when it comes to the question of which movie started it all, there’s a bit of confusion among fans.

Some argue that the first Star Wars movie is ‘A New Hope,’ while others believe it’s ‘The Phantom Menace.’ In this article, we’ll delve into this topic and try to come up with a definitive answer.

What is Star Wars: A New Hope?

Star Wars: A New Hope is a science fiction movie released in 1977. It’s also known as just ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Episode IV: A New Hope.’

The movie was written and directed by George Lucas and starred Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, and Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi. The plot follows a young farm boy named Luke Skywalker who teams up with Han Solo and Princess Leia to save the galaxy from the evil Empire.

Is A New Hope the First Star Wars Movie?

Yes, Star Wars: A New Hope is the first-ever Star Wars movie released in theaters. While George Lucas had initially envisioned a much larger story arc spanning multiple movies, he didn’t have enough resources to make them all at once. Therefore, he decided to start with one movie that would serve as a standalone story but also leave room for sequels if it did well at the box office.

What About The Phantom Menace?

While The Phantom Menace does take place before A New Hope in terms of chronology (it’s set 32 years before), it’s not the first Star Wars movie released in theaters. The Phantom Menace is actually the fourth Star Wars movie to be released after A New Hope (or Episode IV), The Empire Strikes Back (Episode V), and Return of the Jedi (Episode VI).


In conclusion, while The Phantom Menace may be the first movie chronologically in the Star Wars universe, it’s not the first movie released in theaters. That honor goes to A New Hope, which introduced us to a galaxy far, far away and kickstarted one of the biggest pop culture phenomena of all time.

If you’re new to the Star Wars franchise, we highly recommend starting with A New Hope and going in chronological order from there. It’s a great way to experience the story as it was intended and see how it evolved over time. May the Force be with you!